Have you ever wondered why some websites rank higher than others on search engines? The answer is simple, those websites have mastered SEO keyword research.
In this article, we will share some tips and tricks on how to conduct keyword research to boost your website’s visibility and for effective SEO.
But first, let’s take a look at this:
92.96% of global traffic comes from Google Search, Google Images, and Google Maps.
This showcases how choosing the right keywords can boost your website traffic and increase sales. Now let’s continue…
What is SEO Keyword Research
Before we dive into the tips and tricks, it’s essential to understand what SEO keyword research is all about. SEO keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases your target audience uses to search for information related to your products or services online.
By understanding the search behaviour of your target audience, you can optimise your website content to make it more relevant and visible to search engines.
Why SEO Keyword Research is Important
SEO keyword research has become crucial for any successful SEO strategy. By understanding the keywords your potential customers use, you can optimise your website for those keywords and attract more organic traffic.
SEO keyword research is essential because it helps you understand your target audience’s search behaviour and intent. You can create relevant and valuable content by identifying the keywords your target audience is using.
This, in turn, improves your website’s visibility on search engines, drives more traffic to your website, and increases your chances of converting visitors into customers.
Another reason why SEO keyword research is critical is that it helps you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
When you optimise your website for specific keywords, you increase the likelihood that search engines will show your site in the top results when someone searches for those keywords.
It can help establish your brand as an authority in your niche and improve your credibility among potential customers.
In addition to improving your search engine rankings and attracting more traffic, SEO keyword research can also help you gain valuable insights into your competitors’ strategies.
By analysing the keywords they are targeting, you can identify gaps in their SEO strategy and find opportunities to differentiate yourself from them.
You can also identify any high-volume keywords they may be missing out on, which can give you an edge in the marketplace.
Understanding Search Intent and User Behaviour
To conduct effective SEO keyword research, you need to understand the search intent and behaviour of your target audience.
What is search intent?
Search intent is the reason behind a user’s query on a search engine. It helps to understand what kind of content a user is looking for and how to create content that satisfies their needs.
There are four types of search intent:
The second type of search intent is navigational. This type of search intent occurs when a user is looking for a specific website or page.
They may already know the website or brand name they’re looking for. For example, users may search for “Amazon” or “Facebook login.”
Commercial search intent occurs when a user is researching products or services to purchase in the future. They may be looking for information about different options or comparing prices.
For example, users may search for “best car insurance”, “top-rated smartphones”, or “local SEO services London.”
Transactional search intent occurs when a user is ready to purchase or engage in some other type of transaction. They may be looking for reviews, comparisons, or prices before making a decision.
For example, users may search for “best running shoes” or “cheap flights to New York.”
Understanding the search intent of your target audience helps you create content relevant to their needs
What is user behaviour?
User behaviour refers to how users interact with your website when they visit it. It includes various actions, engagement metrics, and patterns that indicate how users navigate, interact, and respond to your website’s content and design.
Understanding user behaviour is crucial for optimising your website to enhance the user experience and improve search engine rankings.
Key aspects of user behaviour include:
1. Bounce rate
The bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may indicate that the content or user experience is not engaging or doesn’t meet the users’ expectations. It’s crucial to analyse bounce rates to identify potential issues and make improvements.
2. Time on page
This metric measures the amount of time users spend on a page on your website. Longer average time on the page suggests that users find the content valuable and engaging. It can be an indicator of high-quality content and a positive user experience.
3. Pageviews and navigation
Tracking the number of page views per visit and analysing the navigation flow can provide insights into how users explore your website.
Understanding the pages users visit most frequently and the paths they take can help optimise site structure, internal linking, and content placement.
4. Conversion rate
The conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors who have completed a desired action on a website, like purchasing, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter.
Monitoring and improving conversion rates are crucial for achieving business goals and optimising user experience.
5. Click-through rate (CTR)
CTR refers to the percentage of users who click on a search result or a specific link. It’s a crucial metric for evaluating the relevance and appeal of a website’s title, meta descriptions, search snippets, focusing keywords, etc.
6. Scroll depth
Understanding how far users scroll on a page can provide insights into their engagement and interest level. It can help optimise the content placement, calls to action, and overall page layout.
Types of Keywords to Target
Keywords can be categorised into different types based on their characteristics and usage. Here are some common types of keywords:
1. Short-tail keywords
Also known as head keywords or broad keywords, these are short and general keywords typically consisting of one or two words. For example: “shoes,” “digital marketing,” or “car insurance.” Short-tail keywords have high search volume but are highly competitive.
2. Long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases typically consisting of three or more words. They are more targeted and less competitive than short-tail keywords.
For example: “Best running shoes for beginners,” “How to Increase Website Traffic,” or “Affordable car insurance for young drivers.” Long-tail keywords often have lower search volume but higher conversion potential.
3. Location-based keywords
Location-based keywords include geographic modifiers to target a specific location. For example, “SEO agency in London” or “restaurants near me.” Location-based keywords are crucial for local businesses or businesses targeting geographical areas.
4. Intent-based keywords
Intent-based keywords focus on capturing user intent or the purpose behind a search. These can be categorised into informational, navigational, or transactional keywords. For example, “How to tie a tie” (informational), “Facebook login” (navigational), or “Buy iPhone 11 online” (transactional).
5. Brand keywords
Brand keywords include the name of a specific brand or company. They are used to target searches related to a particular brand or to monitor brand reputation. For example: “Nike shoes,” “Coca-Cola,” or “Apple iPhone.”
6. Product or service keywords
These keywords specifically target products or services offered by a business. Examples include “iPhone 12 Pro Max,” “content writing services,” or “SEO tools.”
7. Seasonal or event-based keywords
These keywords are related to specific seasons, holidays, or events. For example, “Christmas gift ideas,” “Black Friday deals,” or “summer vacation destinations.”
8. Competitor keywords
Competitor keywords are related to specific competitors in your industry. Targeting these keywords can help attract users searching for alternatives or comparisons. For example: “Samsung vs. Apple,” “Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi,” or “HubSpot alternatives.”
Target a mix of keywords to increase your website’s visibility on search engines. Head keywords can drive more traffic to your website, while long-tail keywords can help you rank higher for specific search queries.
How to Conduct Effective Keyword Research
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to conduct keyword research effectively:
1. Define your goals
Clarify the objectives of your keyword research. Determine whether you aim to increase organic search traffic, target specific audiences, or focus on specific products or services.
2. Brainstorm initial keyword ideas
Start by brainstorming relevant keywords related to your business, industry, products, or services. Think about the words or phrases your target audience might use when searching for information related to what you offer.
3. Use keyword research tools
Utilise keyword research tools to expand your initial keyword list and gather data on search volume, competition, and related keywords. Popular keyword research tools include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest, etc.
4. Analyse search volume and competition
Evaluate the search volume of each keyword to understand its popularity. Look for keywords with a balance of decent search volume and manageable competition. High search volume indicates potential traffic, while low competition suggests better chances of ranking higher.
5. Use long-tail keywords
Include long-tail keywords in your research. Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases with less search volume but tend to have higher conversion rates. They can help you target a more specific audience and capture users with clear intent.
6. Analyse keyword relevance
Ensure the chosen keywords are relevant to your business, products, or services. Consider the user intent behind each keyword and how well it aligns with your website’s content and offerings.
7. Analyse competitor keywords
Study the keywords your competitors are targeting. Identify their ranking keywords and consider incorporating relevant ones into your strategy. Competitor analysis can provide insights into industry trends and reveal keyword opportunities you may have missed.
8. Consider user intent
Think about the user’s intent behind each keyword. Determine whether they are seeking information, looking to make a purchase, or seeking a specific solution.
Aligning your content with user intent will improve the relevance of your website, provide the value your target audience needs and attract more qualified traffic.
9. Group and prioritise keywords
Group keywords based on their relevance and themes. Prioritise keywords based on their search volume, competition, and alignment with your goals. Focus on keywords that offer a good balance of relevance, search volume, and manageable competition.
10. Refine and update your keyword list
Regularly review and update your keyword list based on changes in your industry, trends, or search patterns. Stay up to date with new keyword opportunities and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Remember, effective keyword research is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor and adjust your keyword strategy based on performance metrics, user behaviour, and industry changes to ensure optimal results.
Tools for SEO Keyword Research
There are several tools available that can assist you in conducting SEO keyword research. Here are some popular ones:
1. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool from Google and is a great starting point for keyword research. It provides keyword ideas, search volume data, and competition insights based on Google’s search data.
SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO tool that offers keyword research features. It provides detailed keyword analytics, competition analysis, keyword difficulty scores, and related keyword suggestions.
Ahrefs is another powerful SEO tool that includes a robust keyword research feature. It offers keyword suggestions, search volume data, keyword difficulty scores, and competitor analysis.
Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool that provides keyword suggestions, search volume data, and keyword difficulty scores. It offers insights into keyword trends, content ideas, and competitor analysis.
5. Google Trends
Google Trends helps you to explore the popularity and search volume trends of specific keywords over time. It helps you identify seasonal trends and compare the popularity of different keywords.
6. Answer the Public
Answer the Public helps you discover questions, prepositions, and related keywords based on a seed keyword. It provides insights into the questions users ask, helping you create content that addresses their specific queries.
SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool that provides insights into the keywords your competitors are ranking for. It helps you identify keyword opportunities and optimise your strategy accordingly.
Serpstat offers keyword research, competitor analysis, and rank-tracking features. It provides keyword suggestions, search volume data, and keyword difficulty scores.
9. Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz’s Keyword Explorer provides in-depth keyword analysis, including search volume, difficulty, and opportunity scores. It also offers suggestions for related keywords and helps identify keyword opportunities.
Each of these tools has its unique features and benefits. It’s often helpful to use a combination of tools to gather a comprehensive range of keyword insights. Consider your specific needs, budget, and preferences when choosing a keyword research tool for your SEO efforts.
Analysing and Prioritising Keywords
Once you have a list of potential keywords, analyse those keywords to determine their search intent and competition.
Prioritise your keywords based on their relevance and competition. Focus on highly relevant keywords to your target audience and keywords with low competition.
Keyword Mapping and On-Page Optimisation
Keyword mapping is assigning keywords to specific pages on your website. By mapping keywords to specific pages, you can ensure your content is relevant and valuable to your target audience.
On-page optimisation refers to optimising your website content according to the target keywords to make it relatable and visible to search engines. This includes optimising your titles, meta descriptions, headings, and page content with your target keywords.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in SEO Keyword Research
When conducting SEO keyword research, it’s crucial to avoid some mistakes that can hinder the effectiveness of your strategy. Here are some common mistakes to avoid in keyword research:
1. Targeting broad and competitive keywords only
Focusing solely on broad and highly competitive keywords may make it tough to rank in top search positions and attract targeted traffic. Incorporate long-tail keywords and specific phrases that align with your target audience’s search intent.
2. Neglecting keyword relevance
Choosing keywords solely based on search volume without considering their relevance to your website or content can lead to poor user experience and low conversion rates. Ensure that the keywords you target are highly relevant to your business and align with the intent of your target audience.
3. Ignoring user intent
Ignoring the intent behind a keyword can result in attracting the wrong audience or not
meeting user expectations. Analyse the user intent behind each keyword and create content that aligns with that intent to provide valuable and relevant information.
4. Overlooking long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are often less competitive and more specific, making them valuable for attracting highly targeted traffic and capturing users with clear intent. Neglecting long-tail keywords can limit your reach and potential conversions.
5. Skipping competitor analysis
Failing to conduct competitor analysis can result in missed opportunities. Analysing your competitors’ keyword strategies can provide insights into industry trends, identify gaps, and help you find keyword opportunities that your competitors may be overlooking.
6. Relying solely on keyword research tools
While keyword research tools are valuable, they should not be the sole source of keyword ideas. They can provide a starting point, but it’s important to supplement them with your own brainstorming, customer feedback, and industry knowledge to uncover unique and specific keywords.
7. Not tracking and analysing performance
Monitoring the performance of your chosen keywords is crucial for evaluating their effectiveness and making necessary adjustments. Regularly analyse keyword rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates to identify opportunities for optimisation and improvement.
8. Focusing solely on search volume
While search volume is an important metric, it shouldn’t be the sole factor in keyword selection. Consider other factors such as keyword difficulty, competition, and relevance to determine the best keywords for your specific goals and target audience.
9. Keyword stuffing
Stuffing keywords excessively into your content can harm your rankings and make your content appear unnatural to users. Focus on creating quality, valuable content that incorporates keywords naturally and provides a positive user experience.
10. Not adapting to changes
Keyword research is an ongoing process, and search trends can change over time. It’s crucial to continuously monitor and update your keyword strategy to adapt to evolving user behaviour, industry trends, and search engine algorithm updates.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can enhance the effectiveness of your SEO keyword research and improve your chances of attracting targeted traffic and achieving your business goals.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Keyword Research
To master SEO keyword research, you need to follow these tips and tricks:
1. Understand your target audience
Gain a deep understanding of your target audience’s demographics, interests, pain points, and search behaviour. This knowledge will guide your keyword research and help you choose keywords that align with their needs and preferences.
2. Use a combination of keyword research tools
Utilise multiple keyword research tools to gather a comprehensive range of keyword suggestions and insights. Each tool has its strengths and may provide different perspectives on keyword opportunities.
3. Conduct competitor analysis
Analyse your competitors’ websites and their keyword strategies. Identify the keywords they are targeting and ranking for. This can give you valuable insights and help you discover keyword opportunities you may have missed.
4. Focus on relevance and user intent
Choose keywords relevant to your website, content, and target audience. Consider the intent behind each keyword and create content that aligns with that intent. This will enhance the user experience and increase the chances of attracting targeted traffic.
5. Balance search volume and competition
Aim for a balance between search volume and competition. High search volume indicates potential traffic, while low competition suggests better chances of ranking higher. Find keywords offering high search volume and less competition for your specific goals and resources.
6. Incorporate long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases with less competition and higher conversion potential. Include long-tail keywords in your research to attract highly targeted traffic and capture users with clear intent.
7. Leverage keyword variations and synonyms
Explore different variations, synonyms, and related terms of your target keywords. This can expand your keyword list and help you cover a range of search queries.
8. Consider local keywords
Use location-based keywords in your SEO strategy if you have a local business or target geographical locations. These keywords include geographic modifiers to help you attract local search traffic.
9. Stay updated with industry trends
Keep an eye on industry trends, news, and changes in user behaviour. Stay informed about emerging topics and keywords that are gaining popularity. This will allow you to stay ahead of the curve and capitalise on new keyword opportunities.
10. Continuously analyse and adapt
Regularly monitor the performance of your chosen keywords and make adjustments as needed. Track rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates to identify opportunities for optimisation and improvement.
Measuring and Tracking Your Keyword Performance
Measuring and tracking keyword performance is essential to assess the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and make data-driven decisions. Here are some steps to help you measure and track keyword performance:
1. Set up Google Analytics
Ensure that Google Analytics is set up on your website. It will provide valuable insights into your website’s traffic, including the keywords driving organic search visits.
2. Monitor organic search traffic
Use Google Search Console to view the keywords driving organic traffic to your website.
3. Track keyword rankings
4. Analyse click-through rates (CTR)
Within Google Search Console, you can access data on impressions, clicks, and average CTR for your website’s keywords. Analyse the CTR to determine how well your keywords are attracting clicks and driving traffic to your website.
5. Monitor conversions
Connect your conversion tracking system, like Google Analytics, to track the conversions generated from specific keywords. This will help you understand which keywords are driving the most valuable actions on your website.
6. Analyse user engagement metrics
Look at metrics like time on page, pages per session, and bounce rate to assess how engaged users are with your website’s content after clicking through from specific keywords. This can provide insights into the relevance and quality of the traffic generated by those keywords.
7. Regularly review and update your keyword strategy
Regularly review and update your keyword strategy based on the data and insights you gather. Identify high-performing keywords that can be more optimised and consider refining or replacing underperforming keywords.
By consistently measuring and tracking keyword performance, you can identify areas for improvement, capitalise on high-performing keywords, and make data-driven decisions to optimise your SEO efforts.
Conclusion and Next Steps
SEO keyword research is essential for attracting your target audience and boosting your website’s visibility on search engines.
It can help you understand your target audience’s intent, improve your search engine rankings, gain valuable insights into your competitor’s strategies, and drive more traffic to your site.
By investing time and resources into keyword research, you can stay ahead of the competition and position your brand for long-term success online.
Follow the tips and tricks outlined in this article to master SEO keyword research and take your website to the next level.
We can do keyword research for your website and help you find the best keywords for your business that relate to your target audience and drive quality traffic. Get in touch NOW!